EA's Stockholm-based DICE studio, creators of the Battlefield franchise, is working on a new title that has so far escaped much attention.
Mirror's Edge is a first-person action adventure which was shown for the first time at the Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco last week. Today, DICE has released some new screenshots, which you can find below.
The game is set in an Orwellian metropolis of the near-future, a world which at first glance seems utopian - everything is clean, and there is apparently little crime. But that's been achieved at the expense of civil liberties - the authoritarian regime in government employs advances in technology to perform unparalleled levels of surveillance on its citizens.
Your character, Faith, is a "runner" - a courier who hand-delivers confidential messages, now the only way to communicate without being monitored by the authorities.
The runners' service is vital to the city's criminal "underworld", yet all the action appears to take place high above the city - Faith spends most of her time acrobatically jumping between the rooves of shimmering mirror-windowed skyscrapers, under nothing but a bright blue sky.
Mirror's Edge is played in first-person, but it's not a shooter. Most of the time you will not have access to any weapons other than your own limbs - it's primarily a puzzle-solving adventure game. Faith uses Parkour-inspired movements to get where she needs to go, and has a repertoire of martial arts moves she can use to fight the authorities as they try to apprehend her. The enemies usually carry guns, so Faith is often better to find ways of avoiding confrontation, but you will get plenty of opportunities for melee combat.
In an announcement last year, Owen O’Brien, the game's senior producer commented: “We want to change the way that players are able to move in first person. No more restrictions, no more being blocked by simple barriers such as walls and fences. We want to enable the player to move like a real person, with the ability to run, jump, vault and slide in a way that has never been seen before in a first person game."
The game's art design is quite striking - not an easy feat to accomplish. The world is dominated by the silvery grey-blues of concrete and glass, and your view is unobstructed by any kind of HUD overlay. Instead, objects turn red when you look at them to indicate that you can interact with them, and when you take damage, the colour temporarily desaturates from your vision while you recover.
Little more is known about the game at this stage, but Mirror's Edge at least looks set to be a unique experience. Due for release this year on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, this is one title we're looking forward to learning more about.